The Vaasa, Finland based company WE Tech is leading a unique cooperation in the Finnish marine industry together with Danfoss and VEO, both with their manufacturing facilities in Vaasa, Finland, bringing years of world-class shipbuilding experience to the project. The three companies have been working closely together for 10 years to provide most energy-efficient solutions for the global marine industry.
The Ice Class 1A Super RoPax ferry is scheduled for delivery in May 2021 and will be operating daily across the Gulf of Bothnia between the city of Vaasa in Finland and the city of Umeå in Sweden.
“We will introduce a wealth of sophisticated solutions in the project such as a Zero-Emission Sailing Mode which ensures a better and smoother voyage from Vaasa to Umeå as the vibrations and noise onboard the vessel will be dramatically minimized. In this way, it will bring more comfort to passengers,” says Mårten Storbacka, Managing Director of WE Tech Solutions.
“The new ferry will be equipped with WE Tech’s hybrid electric propulsion solution, including generators, propulsion drives, Energy Storage System (battery banks), main propulsion switchboards, shore connection switchgears, energy management system, and the propulsion control system. Notably, the WE Tech hybrid electric propulsion solution connects with Azipods from ABB to become the propulsion drive train for the vessel,” Mårten Storbacka continues.
WE Tech also delivers a dedicated power and energy management system to control the different operation modes and an interface with the vessel’s automation system. The hybrid electric propulsion solution is at the heart of the vessel, saving tons of fuel and reducing emissions both at sea and in the harbour.
“The energy cluster in the Vaasa region has always been productive, and the collaboration between WE Tech, Danfoss and VEO for Wasaline’s new RoPax ferry is another excellent example of this. The strong and close relationships with our partners are the backbone for the ultimate performance of our solution,” concludes Mårten Storbacka.
Danfoss brings onboard new ground-breaking liquid-cooled AC drives
“Vaasa is one of the key engineering and manufacturing locations for Danfoss Drives electrification platforms. We are happy to make a solid contribution to the new hybrid Vaasa ferry, equipped with the most state-of-the-art and energy-saving technology available. Danfoss is a top player in marine AC drives targeted to electric propulsion and hybrid-propulsion systems,” says Vesa Laisi, President of Danfoss Drives.
“We are also proud that we are able to do large-scale cooperation with the world-leading Finnish marine propulsion and engine manufacturers as well as with other top Finnish industrial companies such as WE Tech and VEO. To bring new innovative technical solutions to the market in this new ferry, we are cooperating even beyond the normal competition limits. The ferry project, which is full of new technology, is a result of a seamless and close cooperation in the region.
“Thanks to our new ground-breaking liquid-cooled AC drives, the new ferry allows Danfoss Drives to drive the future of electrification in Finland. All Danfoss Drives products for the ferry will be delivered from our Vaasa factory,” concludes Vesa Laisi.
VEO strengthens its foothold in the marine industry
”VEO has become a significant supplier of electrical systems to the marine industry. The order book includes a large number of electrification projects for cruisers, with deliveries extending to 2025. VEO has invested in low-voltage switchgear product development utilizing Danfoss’s newest technology when it comes to hybrid systems. The experience gained from joint projects with WE Tech and Danfoss was applied when developing and testing the new switchgear solutions. This new RMC order is an excellent proof of the great co-operation between technology companies in Vaasa,” says Timo Ala-Heikkilä, CEO of VEO Oy.
Further, contributing to the WE Tech hybrid electric propulsion solution are Switzerland-based Leclanché SA, supplying the battery banks for Energy Storage System, as well as Brazil-based WEG with four generators which supply energy for the propulsion and electrical power demand in the normal sailing mode.